Mainstream media has almost wholly failed to investigate the nature of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's religious associations and that is as relevant today as it was last year. Palin is as close as anyone to being the titular leader of the anti-Obama and anti-government hard right movement whose members gathered in Washington DC on Saturday. But many in that movement who fear (rightly or not) that the Obama Administration in bent on imposing some form of totalitarian government might be shocked to learn that Sarah Palin could be found consulting, in March 2009, with a Christian leader advocates imposing a regime that "may seem like totalitarianism" which would re-educate Americans in 'correct' decision making - an approach reminiscent of re-education campaigns during the violence-wracked Chinese communist Cultural Revolution and in Cambodia during the rule of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge.
In March of 2009, Sarah Palin enjoyed an extended telephone consultation and pep talk with Morningstar Ministries Founder and head Rick Joyner, who has contacts among Republicans in Congress and whose ministry is closely tied to Palin's most important Alaska church, the Wasilla Assembly of God.
Even some of Sarah Palin's most dedicated fans might be taken aback by Joyner's enthusiastic advocacy for an authoritarian religious state. In a "prophecy" published June 19, 2007, Rick Joyner wrote, "The kingdom of God will not be socialism, but a freedom even greater than anyone on earth knows at this time. At first it may seem like totalitarianism.... Instead of taking away liberties and becoming more domineering, the kingdom will move from a point of necessary control while people are learning truth, integrity, honor, and how to make decisions, to increasing liberty so that they can."
Joyner's dream is reminiscent of the visions of 20th Century communist revolutionary leaders who expected that centralized authoritarian government would initially be necessary but anticipated a period of greater freedom after capitalism was successfully vanquished.
In a video segment released March 25, 2009, Rick Joyner described an extended phone chat with Palin during which he discussed meeting with members of Congress such as Michelle Bachmann, complained that media overage of the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Palin had been unfair, and declared "I believe there is a spiritual authority and a calling on Governor Palin that is extraordinary.... I believe she has a national calling on her life. I felt that when I first saw her on the television.... I felt, right away, 'I am listening to the President of the United States."
As described in the extended version of this story, Rick Joyner's Morningstar Ministries is closely tied to Sarah Palin's key church, the Wasilla Assembly of God.
But Rick Joyner is not the only potentially controversial cleric close to Palin;
Last fall, in the first week of September [see: 1, 2, 3], a research colleague of mine and I broke the story of Sarah Palin's personal tie to professed witch hunter Thomas Muthee. Muthee is an international celebrity, for his role in a series of documentary videos, seen by millions worldwide, that claim Christians can reduce crime, murder, traffic accidents, addiction, and environmental degradation by driving out, from cities and towns, accused witches and demon spirits.
Later, we revealed that Palin was also even more closely tied to yet a second professed witch hunter, Mary Glazier, whose prayer group Palin had joined in 1989, around the time Sarah Palin decided to go into politics. Glazier has declared that unbelievers, non-Christians, should be driven from "the land."
[extended version of story - includes details on Sarah Palin's connection to Rick Joyner's ministry]